Virgin Media stores are set to remain closed permanently after lockdown restrictions as the media retailer prepares to disappear from the UK’s highstreets.
Fifty-three Virgin Media stores across the UK will now be shut permanently, leading 341 employees who were not yet furloughed to lose their current roles.
However, Virgin insists that these staff will be offered roles elsewhere in the company, with 300 being offered telephone customer care roles based permanently at home.
A further 50 new roles on field sales will also be created so every member has the opportunity to remain employed within the wider company.
The retailer said the move was largely due to most of its sales now taking place via telephone while its instore footfall continued to drop.
While the coronavirus crisis has accelerated the move dramatically, Virgin Media was already in the process of shifting its operations away from physical stores.
Since 2016 Virgin Media’s physical stores and kiosks have declined significantly from 140 locations.
“We are focused on delivering the service customers want, in the ways they want it and at a time and place that suits them,” executive director for sales at Virgin Media Rob Orr said.
“By creating new jobs in our most popular care and sales channels, we will be better able to provide our customers with the top service and support they rightly expect while retaining our talented workforce.”